Alan Helmuth and James Don Parker had known one another for years.
They lived maybe half a mile apart along the border of Jones and Baldwin counties, just southwest of Lake Sinclair.
Parker works for Georgia Power, and Helmuth retired from there.
Monday night, authorities said, there was drinking, a fight.
Tuesday morning about 8, a neighbor called 911.
When deputies arrived at Parkers house, Helmuth was dead on the living room floor.
Helmuth, 61, may have been shot, said Jones sheriffs Capt. Earl Humphries, but investigators wont know for sure until they get an autopsy report Wednesday.
As of Tuesday evening, Parker, 56, hadnt been charged in Helmuths death, but he was being held at the Jones jail in Gray, Humphries said.
The two men lived on Stallings Road, which runs off U.S. 129 about halfway between Gray and Eatonton. The Oconee National Forest lies to the west across the highway.
Sometime between 9 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday, Parker and Helmuth fought, Humphries said. We dont know what it was about.
Humphries said about an hour after daybreak Tuesday, Parker went to a neighbors house and asked someone to call 911.
Tuesday afternoon, another neighbor described Helmuth and Parker as easygoing. The neighbor, Darrell Howell, had no idea what might have prompted Helmuths death.
I hate it, Howell said, because I liked both of those boys. They were nothing but nice to me.
A woman who answered the phone at Helmuths house Tuesday evening said, We have a lot of kind words to say about him, but right now is not a good time.
Helmuth would have turned 62 on Sunday.